Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Goose

I met The Goose, a nickname he went by, when we were about ten years old or so. He was Goose, his brother Turkey, and I was dubbed Quail – all breasts and bird legs. We lived to torment one another. By junior high, however, we'd become friendly adversaries. He asked me to walk with him at Freshman Graduation, but then he also asked a half-dozen other girls to do the same. I'm not sure, but I think he was just hedging his bets in case one of us became angry at the last minute and ditched him.

Not one to pussyfoot around, and only looking out for myself, I pinned him against the lockers one day between classes and threatened to cut off his nuts if he stood me up. I already had the dress, the dyed-to-match heels, and the appointment with the town's premier beautician for the mile-high hair. Not wanting to sacrifice his testicles, he acquiesced.

We avoided the romantic tension that was building. He dated one of my best friends—I dated one of his rivals. When his girlfriend’s father passed away the day before our senior graduation, he and I skipped school, despite being threatened by our teachers, and we drove to her house to be with her.

Later, when I was in college, he joined the service, and this time it was he who pinned me down. The night before he shipped out to Korea, there were several passionate kisses and long talks. He told me he loved me and asked me to marry him. I knew it wasn’t a repeat of Freshman Graduation, but I couldn’t commit. For reasons I still don’t understand, I was unable to answer his letters. I married – he came home and married – and we never spoke of it again.

Somehow…I always thought we’d have the chance to talk.

God bless, honey. Fly high.

Steve Poplin



At 10:06 AM, Blogger Beth said...

Lovely eulogy. The memories help.
Take care.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Michele said...

OH my goodness, that was beautiful, romantic, tragic and brought tears to my eyes.
Well written , poignant and heartfelt.
I've run out of words to describe how your post touched me.


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